Friday, 31 October 2008

THE PESTILENTIAL EU

Jeffrey Titford MEP writes how EU directives are harmful to the farming industry.
The hot topic right now is the EU’s proposals for an update to directive 91/414/EEC, which is well on its way through the European Parliament and involves the introduction of a new hazard based system for approving pesticides to replace the tried and tested existing regime, which is based on risk.  I have written about it at length several times in these columns in the past year, so I won’t repeat all the arguments.
 
This misguided legislation typifies the EU’s approach to law making – fix it, even if it isn’t broken.  What it means for farmers is the loss of many of the chemical tools they have used for years to tackle some of the most pernicious weeds and blights.  It is good to see that the farming industry is belatedly waking up to the extreme threat this legislation poses to the arable sector1. 
 
Efforts to resist these proposals are being aimed at the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.  Farmers are being encouraged to lobby the Committee by writing letters to the individual members and a petition is underway, which a number of correspondents have urged me to sign.  Unfortunately, much of this effort misses the central point and is wrongly targeted.  Decisions on what system to use for the assessment of pesticides we use in this country should be decided by our own Government at Westminster, not by unelected officials in the European Commission.   The Environment Committee is only enacting the wishes of the Commission and its proposals will be rubber-stamped by the tame European Parliament.
 
People seem to be forgetting that what we joined in 1973 was sold to us as a ‘Common Market’ where we would do lots of business, which would be good for the economy.  Who would have believed that 35 years later, officials at the European Commission, with no democratic legitimacy whatsoever, would be laying down the law on what chemicals we may spray on fields in Britain, while our own elected Government can do nothing but stand meekly by waiting to be told what it must enforce.
 
If you really do want to write letters, far better to send them to Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn, urgently requesting that Britain should veto these proposals and withdraw from the Common Agricultural Policy and, ultimately, from the EU itself.  The one would inevitably lead to the other.  You might copy your letters to Agriculture Commissoner Mariann Fischer Boel for good measure.  Only by taking these dramatic but necessary steps will we ever again get sensible agricultural policy in Britain.
 
Credit Crunch Bites Farmers
 
Much has been made of food price inflation at the retail end, in recent months, but it is not being passed on down the chain.  Price inflation is almost non-existent at farm level and farmers are now up against a triple whammy; including a dramatic fall in the price of feed wheat, down to about £90 a tonne, half of what it was last year, major increases in the cost of fuel and fertiliser and, just to put the tin hat on it, bank credit has dried up because of the current world financial crisis.  Many farmers are facing disaster.
 
It has been instructive, if somewhat infuriating, to see how ineffectual the EU has been in the face of the credit crisis.  While the Americans have swiftly recognised that regulations known as ‘Basel 2’ introduced in 2004, in the wake of the Enron disaster, have been a major factor in the current crisis and moved to change them immediately, all the EU has done is hold a series of ineffectual meetings after which a number of heads of state and government went home and did their own thing anyway.  The Basel 2 rules were introduced in two EU directives and the process of drafting a new one to deal with the problem could take a year or more.
 
For those wishing to understand the Basel 2 rules, they involved the introduction of a complicated risk assessment model, which is used to assess the solvency of a bank after the end of a day’s trading.  It produces an asset statement to determine whether or not the institution is solvent.  All this is fine and dandy when the markets are rising but in times of recession, such as now, a bank’s assets appear minimal and no allowance is made for future recovery or the underlying value of the assets.  This situation renders them unable to lend or borrow money, starving the banks of the only way they can stay solvent. 
 
Without these inflexible rules, most of the banks that have collapsed might well have survived.  While the bankers are taking most of the blame for the world crisis, the European Commission and some of our politicians should take their share.  The really worrying thing is that the financial sector produces a third of Britain’s income but it is now largely controlled by the rigid and paralysed EU, which makes us horribly vulnerable to the present financial crisis and certainly doesn’t make things any easier for farmers.

FRUITLESNESS OF THE EU

Nigel Farage: exposing the EU for what it is.

A rapidly growing number of people are beginning to realise what many EU-sceptics have known for yours, the EU is not only a totally pointless organisation, it is a fruitless one too. Now Sainsbury’s supermarket has just awoken to that fact.

After years of the EU’s Quisling apologists denying the EU had rules about misshapen fruit, bent bananas and the curvature of cucumbers, now their lie has been rumbled with a desperate plea from Sainsbury’s for the EU to scrap its ludicrous rules on what are perfectly edible foods. This is yet another example of the lunacy of EU membership which bears no fruitful benefits for the people of the British Isles at all.

Read what the UKIP leader, NIGEL FARAGE, has to say about it.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

A RISE BY ANY OTHER NAME

This is a question often asked but seldom answered. Sadly, in these days of political correctness and everyone living in sheer terror of being called a racist, no one really wants to tackle, but why is it ok and perfectly PC to have a 'Black Police Association, but racist and not allowed to have a 'White Police Association'? This, after all is discrimination. iT seems it's fine and dandy to discriminate against the indigenous population - but woe betide anyone who discriminates against those of a different race or culture.

Well, the Black Police Association dropped a real clanger and got two name sakes mixed up and got a dose of the truth, which they did not like, because of it. You can read all about it in WALES ON-LINE.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

SPYING OUT THE MEASURE OF THIS GOVERNMENT

Secret intelligence workers heading for the dole queue.
It would seem, according the the Daily Mail on Wednesday 29th October, that Government Ministers are planning to axe around 122 jobs of secret intelligence experts.  There have been warnings that the public and armed forces will be at an increased risk of "Intelligence failure".
The jobs at risk, which is nothing other than part of a money saving exercise, will be within the Defence Intelligence Staff, which is a shadowy Whitehall unit that keeps a watchful eye on Britain's enemies by evaluating intelligence gathered from the spy agencies MI6 and GCHQ. The information they collect is passed on and used to protect the nation.

At a time when the Russian leadership is becoming more belligerent to the West, once again, the operation which is designed to monitor Russian activity will be undermined.

The nation is being put at risk to save money whilst at the same time the Government is already spending large sums on the steady introduction of identity cards that will not protect anyone.  That, sadly, is the measure of this Government.  As they slash the budgets of our armed forces and others who serve to protect us, Gordon Brown and his merry Ministers fear the people far more and are quite happy to spend £ billions on a system that will control and monitor the people who will be left defenceless against the nations real enemies. 
 
To join the campaign against identity cards, No2ID will be pleased to hear from you.

THE FIRST FIRE OF THE SEASON

Tess the dog enjoys the first fire of the season.
Well, the Bennett household has begun to feel the chill, so it's time to light the first fire of the winter season, and in prime place, as usual, is old Tess who usually resides in front of the blaze until her fur begins to singe - what is it with dogs and fires?

October's not yet out and the snow is already on the ground, the non-hardy plants not yet brought into the shelter are as good as dead, and, believe it or not, the global warmists are still spreading the message of gloom and doom.  If this is global warming then I'm a Dutchman, when was the last time you remembered snow in October?  I can't - nor can Tess and she's been around a long time.

HALT BIOMETRIC BULLYING

No2ID has called for plans to allow the police to fingerprint people on the street using mobile scanners to be put on hold until vital legal protections are put in place. 

The plan to use mobile scanners would set a significant and potentially very dangerous trap for the public, warn No2ID. Police currently have the power to demand fingerprints from someone only after arresting them. Fingerprinting at police stations is done under carefully controlled conditions. 

They warned that if scanners are in use, the police will in practice be checking fingerprints using technology that is known to give false results a significant amount of the time, and members of the public may find themselves under pressure
to give prints "voluntarily" when it is not legally required to identify them. Given the government's appalling record on abuse and mishandling of personal data and its "fairy-tale thinking" about biometric technology.

NO2ID has made four demands:
1) That failure rates as well as the success rates are regularly reported to Parliament from the very outset, beginning with full disclosure (no claims of "commercial confidentiality") on Project Midas and previous trials. Sadly, this Government has a habit of only reporting the 'good news' about biometrics - not the bad.

2) That the scanners be limited by law to checking only against *criminal* fingerprint databases. Any checks against the proposed National Identity Register, for example, would be a fishing expedition effectively turning the entire population into suspects.

3) That it be declared illegal for fingerprints gathered in this way - or any data obtained, such as the name of the person involved - from being stored permanently except in connection with an actual prosecution. Otherwise there is nothing to stop this, over time, resulting in the creeping fingerprinting the general population, starting with the young and members of ethnic minorities. 

4) That arresting someone for refusal or failure to provide fingerprints when there is not otherwise a problem identifying them or when no offence has been committed, be clearly banned and made a disciplinary offence for police officers.

Phil Booth, NO2ID's national coordinator said: "This implies a completely new power for police to fingerprint you in the
street, using an iffy technology. If refusing to cooperate can get you arrested, then you would have not just fingerprints but DNA on a criminal database for the rest of your life. That means the state can pick on anyone at any time."

Monday, 27 October 2008

EU BUREAUCRACY IN TRIPLICATE

Members of the Taxpayer Alliance at a recent UKIP event on HMS Belfast
According to the Taxpayers Alliance the number of EU laws imposed upon the once free people of the United Kingdom has almost tripled in just a decade.

Their informative research shows that3,010 EU “legislative instruments” were enacted into British law in 2007, which is almost three times the number set in 1998. Back then the EU imposed 1,085, which was bad enough, and since then it has been responsible an average of 942 new laws placed onto the statute book each year since.

According to a Tax Payers Alliance policy analyst, the total burden of regulation now costs the hard pressed British taxpayers £150 billion a year. He also said: “Regulations are an enormous burden to business, particularly in a time of financial hardship.”

This is just another item to add to the growing pile of evidence that there really is no benefit to the British people regarding our membership of the European Union – which is now just folly on behalf of our leaders in all three main political parties who are too blinkered to see the reality that all the benefits are out of the EU.

SUPPORT JANET DEVERS

Mike Plumb of the British Weights & Measures Association present a donation to Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs campaign, who leaves a message below.
Dear All.

After very careful consideration Hackney Market trader Janet Devers has decided to lodge an appeal against her Magistrates Court conviction which will take the case before the Crown Court. This is in addition to the four outstanding charges which are still set to go before a jury in January.
 
Janet Devers and Neil Herron will lodge the appeal papers at Thames Magistrates Court at 12.30pm Monday 27th October 2008.
 
Her courage is to be commended especially in light of the huge personal pressure and potential personal financial implications.  The Metric Martyrs Defence Fund is committed to raising the necessary funds to support Janet and ensure that her stand on our behalf does not come with a personal financial cost.
 
She recognises that her case is critical to finally put to an end the enforced metrication programme and it is a case which will send a message to all politicians and petty officials who seem to have forgotten that they are public servants.
 
Furthermore, it is critical to ensuring that a posthumous pardon is granted for Steve Thoburn and pardons granted for John Dove, Julian Harman and her brother Colin Hunt because her case must result in a change in the law.  What must be remembered in all of this, and in all the Metric Martyrs cases is that there was never one complaint from a member of the public.
 
After Janet's conviction on 8th October the Minister John Denham stated that such prosecutions are not in the public interest it is only right and proper that Hackney Council withdraw all charges.
 
Your support, as ever, is very much appreciated to ensure that Janet and all receive the very best legal support and to ensure that the final push to ensure that Janet Devers' convictions are quashed and that the late Steve Thoburn and the other three convicted Martyrs receive their pardons is successful, and the law changed to ensure no-one else is ever prosecuted for using imperial measures.
 
Best wishes and thank you all for the support over the last 8 years which has allowed this fight to continue.
 
Neil Herron
Janet Devers: persecuted by Hackney Council.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

WELCOME TO UKIP

Gerard Batten and London UKIP must be doing something right as they have detached the whole of Harrow Road Ward of the Conservative Party. Below is a UKIP Press Release titled: "Tories move to UKIP", put out by the London UKIP MEP, Gerard Batten 

The Harrow Road ward of the Conservative Party has moved en masse to UKIP. Aware that the European Union is the paramount political issue of our time, it creating as it does 80% of our laws, the new Westminster North constituency association of UKIP realised that they simply couldn't stay in a party that wasn't going to do anything about it.

Jasna Badzak was the Chairman of the ward association, Susan Jacobs the political vice/chairman, Drgomir Mikulic the membership secretary and Luli Beqiri the secretary. They are adopting the same role in their new, and natural, political home, UKIP.

Ms Badzak, having had to flee her home in the former Yugoslavia, feels that she owes the UK a debt of gratitude for giving her the chance of a new life. She has become increasingly disappointed with the Conservatives and feels that they are out of touch and are not offering any policies which can deal with the current crisis facing Britain. Thus the move to UKIP."

THE WOMBOURNE MEETING

The Wombourne meeting organisers, from left to right: 
Mike Lynch, Malcolm McKenzie & Tom McCartney.
I said I would get around to posting something about the meeting organised by the South Staffs UK Independent branch in Wombourne on Thursday 23rd October, so here it is.

The South Staffs UKIP branch is an active branch with some good people working in it, and they are proving to be good at organising public meetings.  This particular meeting had as their main speaker for the evening Christopher Gill, the ex Conservative MP who is now a member of the UKIP riling body, the National Executive Committee.

Christopher spoke about the imposition of the European system of law, Corpus Juris, which is gradually replacing our British Habeas Corpus which is a much safer and fairer system of law.  Also speaking briefly was the UKIP South Staffs prospective Parliamentary candidate, Malcolm McKenzie, and myself.

After the meeting chairman, Mike Lynch, introduced us, I was asked to be the warm up man as the first speaker of the evening.  That was a pleasant task in front of an audience of around thirty or more people.  As a great admirer of Christopher Gill for many years and a good friend of Malcolm's, it was easy to talk about both of them and their achievements.  I also spoke about the sheer hypocrisy of the other political parties.  Malcolm was second on and as an expert in computer technology he explained how useless the members of Parliament are at selecting computer systems for major prejects, and how insecure the data was.

Then it was the turn of Christopher Gill who spoke for almost thirty minutes.  His talk was excellent and in an easy to understand way he explained why we are losing our system of law and the reasons why we are seeing Government led attacks on such things as jury service, why the Government wants to bring in 42 days detention without charge and the removal of Double Jeopardy was all part of a stealthy move towards the EU system, which when introduced fully, will do away with all our legal safeguards.  

When that dreadful day comes about - if we let it - people will be accused of crimes and classed as guilty until they can prove their own innocence, unlike now where we have a right to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  The EU system also means we can be locked away for years while a case is built up against us - that can't happen here - not until we fully comply with the EU.

There were many questions from the audience, it was an extremely good
to see Peter Roberts, the anti-road charging campaigner, at the meeting too.  Peter was the man who set up the most successful number 10 Downing Street petition yet which raised 1.8 million signatures against road pricing.  He now runs the organisation, Drivers Alliance, which is campaigning on behalf of British drivers everywhere against many of the impositions imposed against these hard pressed members of society which the Government see as cash cows.

All in all, it was an extremely good evening and the South Staffs UKIP team should be congratulated for their efforts.  They are now working on the next meeting which will be in the new year in Great Wyrley, Mike Nattrass MEP is being lined up for that one.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

IN THE TELEGRAPH TODAY

Well, blow me down with a feather, I've got a letter published in the Telegraph today in response to a letter from Christine Brookfield who is struggling with a small business in the recession - she is calling for V.A.T. to be reduced. It's been cut quite a bit, but none the less its there - and its message which was:

Sir – Christine Brookfield has my sympathy. It is not easy running a small business in a recession.

She suggests that the best way to help would be to reduce VAT, which was my sentiment exactly in the recession of the early 1990s.

I wrote to the then Chancellor and was informed that the lowest VAT rate allowed by the EU was 15 per cent.

I have been a euro-sceptic ever since.

Derek Bennett, Walsall, Staffordshire.

MORE MADNESS FROM HACKNEY COUNCIL

What is it with the elected barmpots on Hackney Council? No sooner than their little town hall tyrants mauled the honest street trader, Janet Devers, for nothing more than selling her wares in the weights and measures her customers asked for, they then turned their attentions on author Iain Sinclair.

He is a local Hackney lad made good and has been a successful author. Because of this he was invited by the main library in Hackney to do a presentation regarding his latest book which is to be launched in a few month time. As he wrote himself in the Guardian Newspaper: "Hackney Libraries invited me to come back in February 2009 to launch a book I had been working on for more years than I care to remember: Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire. I was happy to accept, believing that a work researched, contrived and constructed in this place should have its first reading right here. A small return on my part for 40 years of madness and inspiration, painting the white lines of football pitches on Hackney Marshes or trawling for used books in Kingsland Waste Market."

However, the problem with dealing with the loony lefties on the Hackney Soviet are the same as dealing with all other tin pot tyrants anywhere in the world - they make decisions which are generally irrational or plain barmy - and Hackney Council excels in both.

Because he has written what he described as an: "off-message piece on the Olympics." in the London Review of Books, which he said: "responded to aspects of the creation of the Olympic Park in the Lower Lea Valley: the destruction of the Manor Garden allotments, the eviction of travellers, and the famous "legacy" revealed as nothing more than a gigantic shopping mall in Stratford." Hackney Council have withdrawn his invite for being off message about the 2012 Olympics.

As this criticism was actually nothing to do with his book or its contents, he challenged this decision to bar him, which was when the nutters of the Hackney Politburo changed their stance and accused him and his new book of being "controversial" - wow! They informed him controversy was not allowed in their libraries. The next question has to be, how long has Mystic Meg been working for Hackney Council? Considering Iain Sinclair's new book has not yet been published and that no one other than him and his publisher seen the book, how do they know its controversial?

As part of his research he decided to take a look in the library to see what local historical items they had there. Guess what, there was none - history was banned as it was deemed to be too controversial by the Hackney KGB. There's the problem with history - its contents can be extremely inconvenient when you are trying to distort all logic and common sense. Read Iain Sinclair's account in the GUARDIAN.

Friday, 24 October 2008

THE NUMBERS UP

The EU should keep its hands off our car number plates
Ever noticed that all the lousy drivers sport the EU flag of occupation on their car number plates, thus earning the name: 'Prat plates'.  Well now, thanks to another imposition of the EU, anyone who flies their national flag on their number plates instead of the EU abomination will be liable to prosecution.

It would seem that in recent times
 thousands of people have been given fines of sixty pounds, they also stand to have their car MOT's failed too.  This has prompted the UK Independence Party MP, Bob Spink, to ask a written question in the House of Commons about this.  In reply, Jim Fitzpatrick, confirmed that this was the case.

Bob Spink said that many people did not realise it was an offence to display any national flag on their vehicles.  He said: "No one believed it.  This is outrageous.  Europe is gathering around itself the trappings of a country and Britain is just a region.  This is not acceptable."

It is sad to say that it is now an offence to display our own national flag, and has been since 2001 when it was forced though into British law.  This not only applies to the Union Jack, but also the Scottish Saltaire, the Welsh dragon and any other flag, including the Jamaican flag which has been increasing in numbers on cars driven by many West Indians.  Apparently, this is being justified as being necessary to ease the circulation of vehicles from one part of the EU to another.  However, this was never a problem when motorist used to slap a GB or any other national sticker to cover the rust patches on their cars.

The only way to oppose this is to renounce EU citizenship, you will find a link to a form to help you renounce this imposed citizenship in the side bar on the left.  You can also read the article in the Telegraph.

TEMPUS FLYUS


Where does the time go? How do you fit twenty four hours work into twelve hours? The simple answer is, you can't and something has to give.


Sadly, this age old problem of time starvation has caught up with this blog, hence the reason not much has been posted over the last day or so.

One of the things to which time was gladly given, was the meeting organised by the South Staffs UKIP branch with Christopher Gill. A report will be posted soon - but of course, that needs time to prepare too.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

STICKING IT TO SARKOZY AND BASHING BARROSO

Would you like to see the French President, Sorkozy, and the EU Commission President, Barrosso, getting some stick from Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party? Well, if you go to the UK Independence Party WEB SITE you can view a video showing Nigel having a go at these two.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

COR-PHEW!

All aboard the Skylark for a lark!
What did you get up to on your holidays? Whatever it was it could not have been anywhere near as interesting as the nefarious goings on in Corfu with the Tory Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, and the recently elevated Highness, Baroness Mandelson. What on earth were this pair up to on their sunshine sojourn?

It looks as if Mandelson and Osborne met up in Corfu and had dinner together, and, to say the least, Mandy was not very discreet about the political clodhopper leading the Labour Party, I'll save the World Gordon Brown. Osborne obviously could not wait to return to the political fray to let it be known that Mandy spoke nothing other than "Pure poison" about his leader, who then, ironically, called him back from the EU Commission to save the Labour Party - and Gordon's political skin. That saying of Harold Wilson's: "A week in politics is a long time", was made for scenarios such as this.

Osborne, however, obviously did not expect the Prince of darkness to strike back, but Mandy scratches when he fights and he has left some bloody great claw marks on Osborne. Obviously Mandy was feeling very bitter, especially at such a critical time when Gordon Brown, his old Labour Party adversary, had called on him for his help. At a time when Mandy was doing his utmost to make it look that the bad feeling between Brown and himself was all a big mistake - the last thing he must have wanted were reports of "pure poison" being dished out by Osborne. So, it would seem the Prince of Darkness has taken revenge.

Acording to the press Mandy has let it be known that George Osborne, when invited onto the yacht of the Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, was trying to tap him up for some of his small change, a million quid or two to help fill the Tory election war chest. Taking money from a foreign donor is no longer allowed under British electoral law. Presumably, the feeling was why let a little technicality such as election law get in the way of a nice juicy donation. No doubt the British based company owned by Mr Deripaska, LGV vans, could have suddenly come up with a tidy sum of loot to help the Tory Party on its way to Downing Street.

However, Lord Mandy, so it seems, managed to rope Nathaniel Rothschild in to spread the story that Osborne had been trying to cadge money out of the Russian oligarch. In a desperate attempt to stem the tide of bad news the Tories decided to do a bit of grave robbing and dug up the corpse that old campaigner, none other than Tarzan himself, Michael Hesseltine,
to try and convince the press and media that there was nothing in this story. The press and media were not having that one, this drama is far too juicy to let go.

So, has Osborne's political career run aground after a sunny day messing about on a boat? Will David Cameron give his old school pal the boot for being such a twerp? And will Van Helsing drive a stake through Count Hezzas heart and send him back to where he came from?

All interesting questions, but not as half as interesting as to why this nice cosy little group of well known Bilderbergers are fighting each other? Is there strife in the secret heart of the Bilderberg group? I can't wait for the next edition of this political soap opera. Cor - phew, what goings on!

EU CONTEMPT FOR THE IRISH

The Irish rejected the EU's Lisbon Treaty, they saw through the EU propaganda.
Pressure is still mounting for the poor old Irish to have a re-vote on the dreadful Lisbon Treaty, they got it wrong last time as far as the EU was concerned.  Recently minutes of a meeting in Paris with Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French Minister for European Affairs, and President Sarkozy, were leaked and revealed that they thought the Irish 'No' vote reflected Irlands "intellectual meritocracy and lack of political courage".  Because of this they now want to 'Cuddle' and "pamper' " the Irish voters while at the same time making pressures" on them".

Those attending this meeting want to get the Lisbon Treaty ratified as soon as possible and force the issue on the voters again.  They want a re-run referendum and stated how the other 495 million Europeans "will be really angry" if the answer is no again.

The Irish should get ready for another referendum and the EU for another kick in its circle of gold stars.  As the EU are treating the Irish with contempt, then the Irish should treat the the EU with equal contempt and ensure they vote no.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

LORDS OF THE BLOG

Thanks to Anne Palmer, who is a tireless researcher, she has sent details of the 'LORDS OF THE BLOG' site which reports the anointment of Baroness Mandelson to the Upper House. Click on the link, scroll down to 'Elevation of the Prince' and enjoy.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, LOOSING IT!

There is a lot of talk about the loss of our freedoms these days, almost every time you pick up a newspaper there is something about plans to introduce I.D. cards, surveillance cameras and Government and town hall snooping. This loss of our traditional freedoms is of great concern to many.

One of the latest news stories on the loss of our liberties was on the plans to monitor all our telephone calls and e-mails – the Big Brother state will be watching our every move and monitoring who we have contact with – nothing will be secret from the prying eyes of the Government – and ultimately the EU which will have access to all this data.

It is has even come to the sorry state that when an ordinary person wants to buy a mobile phone, they will have to produce a passport and register on a national database to help the authorities monitor our every move – our Government are truly frightened of the people they were supposed to represent.

They claim this will help them stop the operations of criminals and terrorists, a claim that is always trotted out when extracting more of our liberties. In reality criminals and terrorist will have the means to get around this legislation and it will, as always, be the innocent who suffer. We have seen how councils are using terror laws to check if parents are entitled to send their children to schools in the correct catchment areas.

What happens if someone’s sim card is cloned and then used by others for nefarious activities? I would hate to be in that persons shoes trying to explain and struggling to sort out the legislative mess. What if, as we all do, someone miss-dials and calls Osma Bin Laden by mistake – that would surely earn a holiday in Gautama Bay – all state expenses paid!

In the years since 1997 when New Labour came to power, and with the instructions of the European Union, this country that once always prided itself for its freedom and liberty, has never before seen such a sustained attack against the liberty of the people. Gawain Towler on the England Expects blog has a warning for all those who say: “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. Things are now so bad with state monitoring in this country, which now watches its people more closely than even the Chinese dictators watch their people, when people say we are losing our freedoms, the reply has to be: ‘What do you mean losing it? It has already gone – if you hadn’t already noticed.

HOW THE STOCK MARKET WORKS

Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, left their farms, went out to the forest, and started catching them.

The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort and returned to their farms.. He further announced that he would now buy at $20.

This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50!  However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. 'Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.'

The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man again, nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!

Now you have an understanding of how the stock market works!!!

NO2ID PRESS RELEASE

No2ID have sent out this press release: DPP vindicates privacy campaigners - on the paranoia of the stalker state 

The concerns of privacy campaign NO2ID [1] are vindicated by the statement of the outgoing head of the CPS who has slammed the paranoia and fear driving the government's attempts to create a database-powered surveillance state. NO2ID welcomes and supports his remarks as just the latest warning from a high profile figure repudiating the government's totalitarian approach. 

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, attacked the "paraphernalia of paranoia" of an increasingly security-obsessed government that seeks to claim greater and greater powers of surveillance. His implied targets included the National Identity Scheme, the proposed telecommunications database in the Communications Data Bill, 48 days detention and other planks of government policy. 

Politicians, he warned, should “take very great care to imagine the world we are creating before we build it. We might end up living with something we can't bear." 

After Sir Ken's appearance on Channel 4 News (Monday, 20/10/08) Guy Herbert, NO2ID General Secretary, agreed with his sentiments but said: 

"Sir Ken is too generous by half. His calls for balance, vigilance and debate are mistaken in the face of a government that looks for any possible opportunity to collect information on the citizen, then suggests anyone who disgrees is somehow an accessory to terrorism, or paranoid."

"Privacy campaigners advocate a trusting society where there are fair and controlled investigative powers. We are the ones asking for evidence and rationality. It is the stalker state - driven to try and watch everyone, everywhere, all the time - that appeals to fear and paranoia."

Monday, 20 October 2008

DRIVER ALLIANCE RESPONSE TO MANCHESTER REFERENDUM

Peter Roberts of the Drivers Alliance.

Following a successful campaign for a referendum on the TIF bid and congestion charge in Manchester, the returning officer Sir Neil McIntosh has this morning published the proposed preamble and question to go out in the ballot papers at the end of November.

Whilst supportive of the question, the Drivers’ Alliance is concerned with the wording of the preamble.

We believe the wording to be sent out with the ballot papers effectively endorses the TIF bid.

Included with the question is the following:

"Please read the leaflet enclosed with this ballot paper which provides details of the Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund proposals.

These involve both major investment in public transport improvements in Greater Manchester and a weekday, peak time only, congestion charging scheme. Congestion charging would only be introduced after 80% of the public transport improvements are in place and not before the summer of 2013."

Peter Roberts, Director of the Drivers’ Alliance said:

“By using the words major investment and public transport improvements in Greater Manchester, the ballot paper is placing a positive spin on the TIF bid proposals.

When referring to the congestion charge with the wording Congestion charging would only be introduced after 80% of the public transport improvements are in place and not before the summer of 2013, the preamble on the ballot paper is a statement designed to reduce anxiety about the charge and make it as palatable as possible.

If we are to have a fair and democratic referendum on this issue, we need fair and unambiguous information to help voters make their decision.

By providing information from the YES campaign and adding a positive spin to the TIF proposals in the preamble before the ballot question, there is a risk the ballot is not democratic or fair.

There is a case against the proposals in the TIF bid and many reasons why it is a bad scheme. These objections must form part of the information campaign surrounding the bid and if the ballot is to be informed and truly democratic, must be aired equally and without prejudice.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

LUTON TV REFERENDUM RESULTS

Marc Glendening of the Democracy Movement was pleased with the results.

On Monday 13th October, 2008, EU-sceptics around the country sat down to watch the ITV programme in which the residents of Luton were given a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and if they thought Britain should leave the EU. There was outrage when the programme was pulled at the last minute as reported on this blog, also here.

Although this blog had been given some results by word of mouth, the Luton and Dunstable On Sunday publication has given the full results and a short article about the programme. In the poll the good people of Luton were first asked whether they want the UK to stay in or come out of the EU, then a second question was put asking whether they are for or against the Lisbon Treaty,which was drawn up to make the EU more democratic and efficient. (that's the way the EU puts it!)
 
Of the 450 who responded, 63% said they were against the Lisbon Treaty, while 27% were for it. 10% were undecided.
 
On the question of staying in the EU, 54% wanted the to break off from it altogether, while 35% wanted to stay in and 11% were unsure.

The Democracy Movement were heavily involved in the making of this programme and they and the DM supporters who campaigned in Luton should be congratulated for achieving such a good result.

METRIC MADNESS

Janet Devers and David Davies
This blog has been following the Janet Devers case of late with items HERE & HERE, and since she was prosecuted on Wednesday 8th October 2008 for the offence of selling in pounds and ounces, also for using scales that were not stamped and for selling fruit in bowls without a weight being shown.  The punishment she received for these so-called crimes was more severe than handed out to real criminals who had stolen, mugged and threatened others.
Obviously this was not good for Janet, who has gone through a great deal of stress for doing nothing more than her mother had done legally for many years before her, which was the selling of fruit and vegetables in the weights and measures her customers wanted, which had been outlawed to comply with the EU's demands.  

The public and press outrage this case has generated has not looked good for the Government, who with the prior permission of EU Commissioner, Günther Verheugen, has stated that it intends to set guidelines which will ban councils, such as the over zealous Hackney Council, which has pursued Mrs Devers with vigour whilst ignoring other traders on the same market who were of a different ethnic background who were also selling unweighted bowls and in pounds and ounces.

Although this ruling has been seen as a great victory for common sense (a commodity which has been missing in many governments since the days of Heath), there are those who warn that this ruling is nothing other than more than illusion or political smoke and mirrors.  One such journalist to to express this view is the no nonsense Peter Hitchens who writes in the Mail on Sunday.  In his column on Sunday 19th October, 2008, entitled: "We're getting pounds and ounces back: Oh, and pigs might fly...", he refers to the "spiteful campaign against British customary weights and measures" and stated that there was "Not a chance" of getting them back.  In his opinion nothing has changed other than an increasingly desperate Labour Government trying to save votes which have been hemorrhaging away in recent months.

In the letters page of the Sunday Telegraph, UKIP MEP Jeffrey Titford, 
wrote: "Brussels, in the shape of a European Commissioner, Günter Verheugen, graciously gives us permission to keep using some of our imperial measurements indefinitely does not change the fact that it is the EU that is the driving force behind compulsory metrication and that it decides these matters, not the British Government.

It is fatuous to try to blame over-zealous officials from  local councils for this unholy mess, because metric has been made our only legally recognised system of measurements and they are simply enforcing the law."

Jeffrey is right, these little town hall tyrants imposing metrication and prosecuting honest traders for giving their customers the goods in the weights asked, are not implementing British law, but EU law.  It's not really that different to French police prosecuting their own citizens under Nazi laws in occupied France.  Our officials impose EU laws in occupied Britain.

Writing on the same page, Jose O'Ware who is a member of the British Weights and Measures Association, summed up the situation: "At last. the Government sees common sense on the continued use of imperial weights and measures.  However, until it ensures the EU legislation is repealed, vindictive councils are still empowered to persecute and prosecute small traders.

For a final say on this matter and how ineffectual the edict on none prosecution is, read this posting on the EU Referendum blog.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

UKIP EVENT ON THE HMS BELFAST

HMS Belfast, a fine old majestic warship.

What a good place for the UK Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, and a group of dedicated UKIP activists meet than on HMS Belfast which did so much in World War Two to save the United Kingdom - and the rest of Europe, from tyranny and an early, quite brutal, form of European Union.

After a bit of mingling and a few glasses of of wine, Bob Spink the UKIP MP introduced the guest speaker, Admiral Terry Loughran, who may be small in stature, but what a giant he is in personality and character. He gave a rousing talk which was very supportive of UKIP and its aims, As well as speaking about his involvement in the Fleet Air Arm and the work he now does as the Chairman of the Air Arm Museum in Yeoville, he also spoke about HMS Belfast and its part in World War Two. It was one of the fleet which took part in the Normandy landing on D Day as well as many other escapade in the Russian convoys - and much else.

Nigel Farage was, as we always expect, his usual eloquent self. What a public speaker that man is. He explained why we need UKIP in this country and how important it is for the nation that UKIP does well in the European elections on the 4th June, 2009. He had a go at David Cameron's pro-EU stance and reminded those there that it was the UKIP money from the ID group in the European Parliament which went to the 'No' campaigns in France and Ireland that helped to defeat first the EU Constitution, then the Lisbon Treaty. Tory money went to the yes campaigns. The event had been organised by UK Independence Party NEC member Jill Seymour, and what a successful event it was too. The idea of the event was to get influential people along and to donate to the party coffers to help its campaign in the European elections.

If you would like to donate to UKIP too to help its election campaign next year, then you can go to the DONATIONS page on the UKIP web-site.

NOW THIS IS SCARY

Have you been worried about the global banking and financial crisis? Have you been taking note of what Gordon Brown, the BBC and Sarkozy have been saying? Well, despite the fine rhetoric of these global minows, you should go HERE and take a peek. I would warn you not to if you are of a weak and timid nature.

Friday, 17 October 2008

THIS WILL KEEP YOU QUIET FOR A BIT

While I'm off saying hello sailor on the HMS Belfast, and not posting on this blog, here's an interesting item that will keep you quiet for a bit and keep you out of the pub.  Take a look at THIS on the EU Referendum blog.

EU AHOY

It's all hands on deck for a meeting on HMS Belfast for Derek Bennett and Fred English
On Friday evening there is to be a UKIP organised meeting on HMS Belfast which is situated on the river Thames in London (tickets only).  So there will not be much blogging on that day.

It should be a good event, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage is speaking, there will also be a Vice Admiral saying a few words too, no doubt he will have something to say about the running down of our armed services and the slashing of our fleet.  My father-in-law, Fred English, is coming along too as he is an ex navy man who served in the Pacific during World War Two.  His ship was a sister ship the the Belfast and whenever he has been on the Belfast it's almost as if he was back on his old ship - it always brings a nostalgic tear to his eye.

No doubt a few photos and a few words about the event will be appearing on this blog on Saturday.  This event will no doubt be another good EU bashing do, so all hands on deck - EU ahoy!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE SEES THE LIGHT

It would seem that yet another high profile Conservative has seen the UKIP light and given up on the pro-EU David Cameron who is leading the Conservative faithful to a destination in the European Union where the majority won't want to be.

Taken from the Scotsman, 16th October, 2008, it stated: "A CONTROVERSIAL former Tory candidate has launched a stinging attack on his former colleagues and signed up for the UK Independence Party.

Mike Scott-Hayward, who stood against Alistair Darling in Edinburgh Central at the 1997 election, accused the Conservatives of going soft on their opposition to the separation of Scotland and England by deciding to back the SNP Government's budget." Why is he "Controversial"? It would seem that anyone who sees sense on the EU these days is classed as "Controversial". Well, from one UKIP activists to our latest Scottish recruit, welcome to the land of common sense.

To see the full article go to the SCOTSMAN.

STILL PARANOID

Derek Bennett, concerned about some of the consequences of the banking crisis.
A short time ago I put a posting on this blog about the banking crisis reporting my concerns about the Government taking over control of our banks. My concerns were based on the amount of power and control the Government will have over us once they are in charge of our money, our loans and mortgages - it gives our Ministers great control and leverage over us.

If the state does not like your opposition to its plans it will have the power to stop you taking out loans, or even your own savings from your account. By being in charge the Government will be able to ruin any business it disapproves of by not allowing them credit, then the thought struck that should newspapers, TV companies or other media companies need money for improvements or investments, they too will need to smile at the bank manager, who in turn (now working for the state) may find that money is only available if they do as told.

Does this sound as if I have become paranoid? Maybe, but the power of the state over our lives is becoming awesome.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

UKIP LEADER ATTACKS THE EU ARREST WARRANT

This posting has been lifted directly off the UKIP web-site. Nigel Farage the UKIP Leader, has warned about the EU-wide arrest warrant, as you will read below.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP has poured scorn on a call for a possible rethink of the European Arrest Warrant by LibDem MEP Graham Watson, who oversaw its progress through the European Parliament.
"He fails to point out that there is no mechanism for the European Parliament to initiate the process of any potential revision," said Mr Farage. "We have to wait for the European Commission to deign to propose any changes."

Mr Watson's suggestion followed the publicity surrounding the case of Holocaust denier Frederick Toben, an Australian citizen arrested in Britain on a German warrant (see the article by UKIP MEP Gerard Batten).

But Mr Farage pointed out that Mr Watson had been warned by UKIP seven years ago that such a case was bound to arise.

"My UKIP colleague, Jeffrey Titford, and I were the only two British MEPs to vote against it – yes, Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg voted for it. And we did so precisely on the grounds that the removal of dual criminality would make it inevitable that someone would be extradited for something which is not a crime in Britain.

"We even used the example of xenophobia, so it is galling to see it claimed by Mr Watson that 'our committee would never have imagined...' when not only was it imagined but they were actually told that it would happen."

In a speech two years ago, Mr Watson said that "at the time we took the measure through we believed that the European Arrest Warrant offered practical solutions to the issues of greatest concern to Europe's citizens: their safety and security

"Experience has shown that the warrant is Europe's chief asset in the fight against cross-border crime, allowing our judicial authorities to reduce the extradition process to an average of 13 days in over half of all cases. That is 13 days compared to the months of waiting that went before. It has been well used by Member States and has generally worked well."

Now that at least one major flaw has become obvious, said Mr Farage, "we're stuck with the law that Graham Watson drafted and shepherded through – as indeed we did tell him we would be."

HIS LORDSHIPS LOLLY

It's not a bad old life for our latest Lord, recently elevated to the upper House. (or should that be demoted from our real unelected government in Brussels?) When he was an MP he had to resign a couple of times for getting up to things he was not supposed to, but for a Machiavellian character such as Baron Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham (his full title), who cares, he's all right Jack!

Life has never been so good, he's in for £78,000 of taxpayers money each year on top of his salary as the new Business Secretary. He is also entitled to receive parachute payments from the EU Commission. All in all, over the next three years he stands to earn £234,000 of EU funding - nice if you can get it.

Over the next three years he will receive half his pay as an EU Commissioner, a nice tidy little £91,25. One way and another he has been well rewarded for helping to sell this country down the river. The whole package has been estimated, as reported in the Daily Telegraph on Monday 13th October, 2008, will entitle him to £1 million. The worst thing that could happen to him now will be if the Government comes to its senses and quits the EU - he will lose the lot. Of course, like all those other pro-EU ex Commissioners now residing in the House of Lords, which includes their Lordships Kinnock Britain and others, none of this will be entered in the members declarations of interest when voting on sensitive EU issues. He will be voting for His Lordships lolly!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

SO, THAT’S WHERE IT WENT

If you called the ITV telephone number given in the posting below this one, then with a bit of luck you will have received a call to inform you what happened to the EU referendum programme which vanished from the ITV schedules last night literally as the programme was being announced.

In a call at around 2.40 pm an ITV person, obviously reading from a prepared statement, told me that the programme had initially been set to coincide with the EU ministers meeting to thrash out how to foist the Lisbon treaty upon us, which had been canceled due to the the global banking crisis. As the meeting on the Lisbon Treaty was not taking place, and for this reason, ITV decided to pull the plug and took the programme off.

I have been assured that as and when the issue of the Lisbon Treaty raises its ugly undemocratic head again, then the programme will get an airing. As to this programme being shown on Monday the 20th October, as reported in the posting below and put out by a number of people, including the Democracy Movement who took a major part in the making of this programme, that, sadly will not be the case.

Word has it, although this is just word of mouth stuff allegedly from someone involved in this programme, when the vote on EU membership was taken, 53% voted to leave the EU and only 37% voted to remain entrapped by it. If this is really true then is it no wonder the programme very conveniently vanished, probably never to be seen again.

So, despite the promise of a later showing, what's the betting this programme will be quietly shelved and forgotten about? Don't sit in front of the TV for too long hoping it may miraculously appear one fine day - you may develop square eyes!

Here is the full text as e-mailed to another anti-EU campaigner, Derek Norman who kindly sent it on to me:

Further to our telephone conversation this is the response from the Tonight Production Office:

Thank you for your concern with regards to our late change of billing.

Our EU referendum programme was planned to coincide with a planned meeting of EU ministers scheduled to discuss the way forward after the Irish no vote to the Lisbon Treaty.

We had anticipated that this would put the European issue back on top of the political agenda.

When it became apparent that the continuing ramifications of the banking crisis would completely overshadow any debate on the future of Europe we decided to move the programme to a time when it will have more impact.

Unfortunately a communication breakdown meant this change was not relayed to the newspaper listings, or indeed ITV’s continuity announcers. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Please rest assured that we will find another suitable slot for the EU referendum programme within the near future.

Regards

ITV Viewer Services - jh

ITV Viewer Services ITV plc
Tel: 0844 88 14150 viewerservices@itv.com
Hours of Opening: 08.00 - 19.00 Mon-Fri, 10.00 - 19.00 Sat. Closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

ITV plc Head Office Tel +44 (0) 20 8528 2000 itv.com

Please consider the environment before printing this email

WHERE’S OUR REFRENDUM – AGAIN!

At 8.00 pm on Monday 13th October, 2008, EU-sceptics all over the country switched on their telly's and settled down on the sofa, with a nice cup of tea - or something a bit stronger, to watch the much publicised (in anti-EU campaigning circles) ITV programme 'The Luton EU Referendum'.

We were all looking forward to seeing a good bit of EU bashing and enjoy the increasingly desperate thrashing about of the pro-EU lobby hopelessly trying to defend the indefensible. However, before we had even taken the first sip from our drinks, the programme vanished before it even began. There was a programme announcement which seemed to get cut short, and wallop, the next thing you know there was a useless programme about women and the insurance industry. To put it in the mildest terms - WHAT THE BLOODY HELL HAPPENED?

It's no wonder people all over the country think there has been something very suspect about this, it's quite obvious this ITV sponsored unofficial referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which is the EU constitution rehashed, was going to show just how unpopular the EU and its appalling treaty is - so why did they not show it?

If you want to ring up ITV in London and ask the question, here's the number to ring: 0208 528 2000. Please turn their lines red hot!

There is a short item about the programme being re-scheduled on the Democracy Movement web-site, too.

MAD BANKING DISEASE

One of the reasons that there has been only limited coverage of the global banking crisis on this blog is down to the blog editor (that's me), Derek Bennett, being fiscally as thick as two short planks. When it comes to money management I'm useless - an investment for me is a pint in the pub! So, when we get into all the complex stuff that has been flying about with this crisis, the likes of which none of us has ever seen before, it is so far above my head its in the stratosphere.

For me simplicity is the key, simple things for simple little minds like mine. So, for a simple, straight forward answer to the banking crisis, the you could find no better than THIS ITEM on the EU Referendum blog.

BRUSSELS TO TAKE OVER BRITISH WATERS

Jeffrey Titford MEP of UKIP, with the late Freddie Trueman.
In a press release the UK Independence Party MEP for the Eastern Counties warned about the EU intention to take control of British territorial waters.  He said there is a curious vacuum in British politics.  While most of us, including the media were transfixed by the adventures of Gordon Brown and whether he was going to survive the Labour Party Conference, our real Government was busily going about its work in Brussels making potentially monumental decisions for the future of our country, almost completely unnoticed.
 
Three reports were voted through the European Parliament, while Mr Brown was fighting his battles in Manchester that could pave the way for control of British waters to be taken over by the European Union.  The first report prepared by Dirk Sterckx proposed establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system using the Galileo satellites and other monitoring systems, to give the EU full information about every ship entering ‘EU waters’.
 
The second, by Dominique Vlaston proposed the introduction of a directive which would give Brussels control over shipping allowed to enter British waters, even if it comes from outside of the European Union.  The implications of these reports are very serious.  We are rapidly getting into the situation in which foreign warships could be refused permission to visit, not by the British Government but by the European Commission.  We could see a nuclear powered vessel being refused permission to enter one of our ports simply to appease political opponents of the use of nuclear technology.
 
The same situation could apply to ships coming here for scrapping or refitting, if the Commission decides it objects to anything on board.  Only coasters of under 300 tonnes, fishing vessels and any craft under 24 metres long are to be exempt, at least for now.
 
Adding further cause for concern is the report by Jaromír Kohlíek, which seeks to lay down the fundamental principles to be used in investigating maritime accidents.  It is a thinly disguised attempt by the EU to obtain legal jurisdiction over world shipping in defiance of the international maritime convention that a ship is the national territory of its flag nation.
 
All of these reports were passed putting British and global maritime trade under serious threat from bureaucrats in Brussels who wouldn’t know their port from their starboard.
 
In addition, Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour's 'Telecom' Report was also quietly voted through that week.  It restricts users to internet services provided from within the EU and opened the way for a raft of measures to control the internet and monitor its users.  All of this has passed through the European Parliament without a murmur in the British media or from our domestic politicians.  See what I mean about a vacuum in British politics?
 
For further information about Jeffrey Titford MEP, go to www.jeffreytitfordmep.co.uk.
read Jeffrey Titford's latest column for the East Anglian Daily Times

Monday, 13 October 2008

MORE ON JANET DEVERS

Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs Defence fund has written about the case of Market trader, Janet Devers court case, as previously reported on this blog.  His report is below.

The case of East End market trader Janet Devers (64) was widely reported in Britain's press and on the TV and radio this week.

Quite rightly the British public were incensed that just a matter of days after last September's front page banner headlines of European Commission's Vice President Gunther Verheugen statement that it was never the intention of the EU to ban imperial measures and that 'Pounds and Ounces are saved,' that Janet Devers had two sets of imperial scales seized and another 11 'weights and measures' charges laid against her by the London Borough of Hackney.


On Wednesday 8th October 2008 at Thames Magistrates Court Bow Road Janet Devers received her verdict from the bench of three lay magistrates.

However, in what has become the most bizarre and farcical of cases Janet was originally brought before Thames Magistrates back in January of this year to face charges brought by Hackney Council that she sold goods in imperial measures, used imperial scales and one of the 9 charges "sold 7 peppers in a bowl for a £1.00" without telling the customer the number of peppers the bowl contained. That is a criminal offence but it isn't a crime for a supermarket to sell a single pepper for 79p!

As stock markets go into meltdown around the world with billions wiped off share values we are experiencing the most perverse of situations where councils see fit to spend tens of thousands of pounds of public money in such actions when there had never been a single complaint from a member of the public.

However, originally Janet was offered, and had elected to face trial by jury as the court and the council had agreed that the cases could be heard at Crown Court but in a bizarre twist the Judge at the pre-trial hearing stated that she could not hear 9 of the charges because they were summary only and had to be referred back to Magistrates.

The Magistrates and the Court Clerk had initially made the mistake of thinking that the matters were triable 'either way' ie. by a jury or magistrates. Janet had exercised that right and elected for trial by jury.

Now she had TWO court cases and TWO sets of costs.

So, Thursday saw Janet back in court for the SIXTH time to hear her fate on 9 of the 13 charges after evidence was heard on September 23rd (Janet's 40th wedding anniversary) before a lay bench.

Janet had decided to handle the case herself with former market trader Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund as a McKenzie Friend. She felt it more appropriate that the two market traders handled the case informally rather than a formal challenge using the lawyers in order to appeal to the Magistrates on a common sense and justice perspective.

In a full days hearing doubts were cast over Hackney's evidence and the Trading Standards Officers were forced to admit that some of the photographs they had introduced as evidence were taken of the wrong stall and Infringement Notices had been handed to someone on a different stall!

'Beyond reasonable doubt' and 'reasonableness' were phrases used by the Court Clerk towards the three lay Magistrates yet they came back with their stinging verdict and found Janet guilty on 8 of the 9 charges despite the inconsistencies and errors in Hackney's evidence.

Janet was given a conditional discharge on all of the charges but ordered to pay Hackney's costs of just short of £5,000. Stunned and tearful she asked the Magistrates to consider the fact that she could not afford such an amount and that to be charged £68 per hour (equates to an annual salary of + £140,000) for Trading Standards Officers time seemed excessive. The Magistrates allowed her the luxury of paying the costs at the rate of £400 per month.

Scapegoat or another agenda

Janet said outside the Court:
" In this current economic and political climate you have to ask whether it is in the public interest to be spending thousands of pounds of public money trying to convict me, an ordinary hard-working market trader of effectively offering good value and trying to earn a basic living.
I am doing nothing different to what tens of thousands of other traders across the country are doing and if I am a criminal then the courts will be filled but I think I have been made a scapegoat. My brother was one of the original Metric Martyrs and this council have continued to target the family ever since."

A website Open Dalston also believes that there is another agenda behind Hackney's targeting of Ridley Road traders.

They report:
"Hackney Council have now admitted that, because it's redevelopment plans will require moving traders off their pitches, there could be difficulties implementing its plans if traders had permanent rather than "casual" licenses. Permanent licensees have legal safeguards including rights of appeal to the Courts in cases of injustice."

Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund states:
" With stabbings, muggings and murder on the streets of Hackney you have to ask yourself why persecuting a market trader for offering fantastic value to the people of Hackney and selling goods by the pound is a priority whereas catching drug dealers selling heroin and cocaine by the gramme is not."

Will common sense and justice prevail?

Whilst the magistrates delivered 'the law' Janet Devers still faces four further charges arising from the same investigation. These were charges which could be dealt with by the Crown Court and can therefore be placed before a jury. The same witnesses will be called from Hackney Council but in addition to this former Market Inspectors will also be called to confirm their written statements made available to the defence that this was a campaign of harassment by senior council officers against Metric Martyr Colin Hunt and his businesses which included Janet's.

It is likely that Hackney Council will not be keen on having such matters placed before a jury but hopefully the case in January will attract massive support and press and media attention and justice can finally be done in the most public of fashions.

Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, a supporter of Janet said:
"Mrs Devers case emphasised the importance of trial by jury. That means that 12 ordinary English people who will give a common sense outcome. I can't imagine that 12 good men and true will convict. They will give a reality check on what the state is up to."

Support

Once more we plead for support from the great British public. The support that has ensured that people like Janet can stand up in court to defend our very freedoms and liberties that were so hard fought for yet are treated with such contempt by those who think that they have the right to wield power over us.

Janet and other like Steve Thoburn and the other Metric Martyrs have shown, at great personal cost, that a stand has to be made against what is increasingly being seen as state tyranny.

Our first target is to ensure that there is no personal cost to Janet and then ensure that the Metric Martyrs Campaign has the funds to make the jury trial in January the most public of affairs.

The support over the years from the Campaign for an Independent Britain and your supporters has been unstinting and you have been with us every step of the way. We now need one final push to get the issue where it needs to be ... before a jury of 12 upstanding British citizens who will finally be able to override bad law and deliver and dispense something which the authorities fear ... JUSTICE.

Only then will the people realise that it is they who hold the real power.

Contact: Metric Martyrs Defence Fund:
Tel. 0191 565 7143.  Metric Martyrs web-site.